Women Physicians & Dentists in Christ (WPDC) is an outreach ministry to provide resources for Christian women physicians and dentists to integrate their personal, professional and spiritual lives. We encourage and support Christian women and physicians as we share the unique challenges of our multiple roles. To learn more about our ministry and stay abreast of events, subscribe to our monthly newsletter, the PULSE. And be sure to plan to attend our annual conferences and virtual conferences.
Women Physicians & Dentists in Christ provides a ministry of true belonging, support and equipping to address the unique challenges of women physicians desiring to glorify God.
Women physicians and dentists complete in Christ ministering through medicine.
Biblical Authority - 2 Tim 3:16, All scripture is inspired
Integrity - Titus 2:7, Colossians 4-6
Authentic Friendships - John 15:12-13, Love one another
Grace-filled Haven - Hebrews 4:16, Grace in time of need, Women physicians complete in Christ, thriving in service
EVENTS & HAPPENINGS
Gathering – A Deeper Dive Virtual Event
Join us for our next virtual event on SUNDAY NOVEMBER 12 from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. EST. The topic is “Surviving the Storms of Our Lives” with featured speaker Dr. Jean Wright. There is no charge for this virtual event, but you must register to receive the Zoom link and password. on Saturday.
Darilyn Falck, MD – 2000-2004
A.J. Demlow, MD – 2004-2006
Gloria Halverson, MD – 2006-2008
Autumn Dawn Galbreath, MD – 2008-2010
Cara Brown, MD – 2010-2012
Leslie Walker, MD – 2012-2014
Holly Austin, MD – 2016-2018
Patti Francis, MD - 2018 – 2020
Regina Frost, MD - 2020-2022
Connie Hahn, DO - 2022-2024
Sarah Rahkola, MD - 2024-2026
Connie Hahn, DO
Connie Hahn, DO, is a family medicine physician in group practice at Bozeman Deaconess Health Group in Bozeman, Montana. After spending the first part of her career life in the airline industry and as a ski instructor in Lake Tahoe, Connie decided to return to her education in her 40s. Her husband Chris was her main source of encouragement as she found herself applying to medical school later in life. Connie was an officer in her CMDA chapter while in training and later became involved, as a new physician, with what is now Women Physicians and Dentists in Christ. She attended UC Davis family medicine residency in Merced, California and was treated for cancer during that time. As a survivor, and experiencing the dual role of being a patient and physician at the same time, Connie witnessed God at work in a very big way. This helped shape her practice and her compassion for her patients, while leaving her with two mottos in life: 1) You may not ever be able to give back enough, but you can always pass it forward; and 2) At the end of the day, no one will remember what you said or accomplished, but they will always remember how you made them feel. She incorporates her faith into her practice and gives public lectures on this subject as well as behavior health. Her husband has a PhD in mental health and works as a mediator for families, the church and natural resource disputes. They have two grown children, one living in Australia and another in Lake Tahoe.
Sarah Rahkola, MD
Dr. Sarah Rahkola is an internist and clinic medical director at Providence Medical Group, Newberg, Oregon. She is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians (ACP) and serves as the chair of the finance committee of the Oregon chapter. Her clinical interests are in geriatric medicine, substance use disorder, and team-based primary care. Her husband Rauha and three children Thomas, James and Miriam join her in loving music, reading, traveling, and exploring the outdoors. She has a passion for classical Christian education and for teaching her Sunday school students how to read and interpret scripture.
Secretary | Treasurer
Marilyn Whitney, MD
Marilyn Whitney is a family practice physician in Ossian, Indiana. She attended medical school at Indiana University, and she has been practicing for 26 years in a small-town private practice. With interests in disaster medicine and adult mood disorders, she continues her adjustment as an employed physician in a town of 3,000 people.
Regina Frost-Clark, MD
Dr. Regina Frost is an OB/Gyn and works out of St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit, Michigan. She has been in practice for over 10 years, the majority of which was spent as the owner and solo physician of her former private practice. Regina enjoys educating women about their health and seeing God work in the lives of her patients. She is married to Darren Clark and enjoys serving at church, cooking/eating, reading, exercising, listening to music and spending time with friends and family.
Patti Francis, MD
Patti Francis, MD, has been in private practice in a partnership at Lamorinda Pediatrics since 1985, located in Lafayette CA. Patricia (Patti) graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara, completed her medical degree at Boston University School of Medicine and her residency in Pediatrics at Children's Hospital in Oakland. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics; was a founder and chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Women in Medicine and Dentistry from 1990-1996; and is a member and past chair of the Marriage Enrichment Commission. She has served on the Physicians Resource Council of Focus on the Family, as an Advisor Board Member of the Medical Institute and DiscoveryHealth.com Disease and Conditions; and has worked on missions with Samaritan's Purse, GHO, Kids Alive International, and Women of Vision/World Vision. She is married to Ron and has two daughters-Corrie and Erica.
Holly B. Austin, MD
Holly B. Austin, MD, is a Pediatrician in Urgent Care at Children's Mercy Hospital in Overland Park, Kansas. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, she attended college at Greenville College in Greenville, Illinois and then went to Medical School at University of Missouri-Columbia. She did her Pediatric Residency at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, MO. She is one of 5 doctors in a Pediatric practice that has been together for 22 years. Married with four dogs and one cat, Holly loves bicycling, skiing and music and is involved in church and community activities. She has a handicapped sister born when she was 9 years old, and has extensive experience with handicapped children in both private practice and on a personal level. She was chosen as one of the top three pediatricians in the greater Kansas City area (pop. 1.5 million with over 270 pediatricians) by a poll of physicians published in Squire Magazine in 2000 and 2003. (poll was completed every two years but magazine is no longer published).
Katherine is a second year medical student through the University of Washington: WWAMI program. Katherine grew up in "God's Country" on her family's fifth-generation cattle ranch in rural Montana with her sisters. She contributes her passion for serving others to her parents and community; with many of her earliest, most fond memories coming from the weekends assisting her mother, a mixed-practice veterinarian, with low-cost vaccination and spay/neuter clinics across Montana. When not buried in medical textbooks, Katherine loves to explore the world, cook and bake, work on her family's ranch, and spend time with her large extended family. She is ecstatic to join the WPDC Commission, especially to learn from other Christ-following physicians and to support her medical student peers through the challenges of training.
Andrea Braun, MD, PhD
Dr. Andrea Braun received her MD and PhD degrees from the University of Heidelberg in Germany. After medical school, she trained in England for a brief period of time, then in Germany in nephrology, then moved to the US for an internal medicine residency at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, a nephrology fellowship at Harvard in Boston, MA, and a critical care fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. She is board certified in Internal Medicine, Nephrology and Critical Care Medicine and currently practices as an Intensivist (doctor for critically ill patients) at Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center in Houston, TX. She is an Assistant Professor at Baylor College of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, in Houston, TX and Associate Program Director for the Critical Care Medicine Fellowship Program. Dr. Braun has an interest in theology and holds a Graduate Diploma of Christian Studies from Regent College, Vancouver, BC, Canada. She enjoys serving in short-term medical missions and in the local CMDA Houston chapter. In her free time, she likes to travel, go hiking, read theology books, and recently took up running as a new hobby.
Martha Courtwright, MD
Martha Grace Courtwright is a Family Medicine physician in Hayward, Wisconsin where she practices full spectrum medicine. She is originally from Monroe, Louisiana. Her parents are both Family Medicine physicians and members of CMDA. She attended Wheaton College where she majored in Theology and attended Medical College of Wisconsin- Green Bay for medical school. She is married to Kyle and has two kids, Isabelle and Liam. She enjoys hiking, camping, reading, crafting, and playing board games. She previously served as the resident representative and now continues to work with the student/resident ministry as a member of the WPDC Commission.
Elisa M. Ghezzi, DDS, PhD
Elisa M. Ghezzi, DDS, PhD has practiced geriatric dentistry for 25 years, providing dental care for residents of assisted living facilities in southeastern Michigan. She graduated from and is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Michigan (UM) School of Dentistry and holds a PhD in Epidemiology from UM School of Public Health. Elisa has been married for 24 years to Steve, a pediatric dentist. They have six children: Elena, Joseph, Luke, Natalie, Dominic, and Michael. Elisa has been a member of CMDA since 1991 and has served as Resident Trustee, on the Dental Ad Hoc Committee, and on the Women in Medicine and Dentistry Commission (2001-2005).
Jordan Immel, DMD
Jordan Immel, DMD, is a general dentist at a community health center in central Missouri. She attended AT Still University, graduating in 2020. Jordan became involved in CMDA while in her second year of training and served as the vice president of her chapter for a year. Following graduation, she became involved in the Women in Medicine and Dentistry Commission, serving as a member of the Dental Task Force since early 2021. Having graduated herself during the pandemic, Jordan has a passion for helping new graduates through their transition from school into their medical profession. She hopes that God may use her in this endeavor while serving as a member of the WPDC commission.
Madie Hartman, DO
Madie Hartman was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pa. She attended Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and did her residency at Altoona Family Physicians where she was trained in full spectrum family medicine. She is passionate about obstetric and pediatric care in family practice. Dr. Hartman currently practices at the Penn State Middletown Office. She also enjoys spending time with her husband and three wonderful children as well as crocheting and playing the piano. She is excited about helping with the WPDC ministry as a member of the commission.
Lynn Hickman, MD
Lynn Hickman received her Doctor of Medicine from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, with residency at Methodist Hospitals of Dallas, serving as Chief Resident in Obstetrics and Gynecology. She also received training from the Academy of Pain Research Acupuncture Training in San Francisco. Dr. Hickman now practices as a Perinatal Laborist at St. Luke's Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialists in Kansas City and an OB Hospitalists at Lester Cox Medical Center in Springfield, MO. Dr. Hickman first attended a WPC conference in 2014 in Philadelphia and feels that she has now "found a group of kindred spirits I had been searching for and did not even know existed." She joined the commission to "help as many female physicians as possible find this 'support and encouragement group'."
Nancy Mabe, MD
Nancy Mabe is a 1994 graduate of the University of Missouri school of Medicine. She joined CMDA during her first year of medical school. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University in 1997. She joined a private practice in Arlington Heights, IL. In 2001, she moved to Wentzville, Mo, also practicing community medicine and in 2015 she joined the faculty of the University of Missouri. She has been an active member of the WPDC since 1998. Nancy is a fellow of the American College of Physician's and serves on the Missouri ACP Governor's Council. She and her husband Dan have 3 girls: Kaitlyn, Christa, and Allison.
Mike Chupp, MD, FACS
Mike Chupp, MD, FACS, was drawn to the orthopedic surgery service as Tenwek had no long-term bone surgeon. He was also named Medical Director in mid-1997. Tenwek grew remarkably during Mike's tenure as surgeon and medical director to a clinical staff of over 80 physicians and clinical officers and more than 700 total staff. Training programs for interns, family medicine, general surgery and orthopedics were also developed and launched during those years.
Mike and Pam left for Kenya in August 1996 with two small children and added two more while at Tenwek Hospital: Steven, Melody, Kayla and Ashley.
In 2015, Dr. David Stevens invited Mike to consider returning to the U.S. to assume the role of CMDA Executive Vice President. After seven months of prayer and seeking counsel from mission leaders, mentors and close friends, Pam and Mike decided to leave their Kenya home and mission life of 20 years and moved to Bristol, Tennessee in July 2016. Mike has counted it an amazing privilege to serve alongside David Stevens and Gene Rudd and all the national CMDA staff for nearly three years. In September 2018, after an eight-month CEO search process, the Board of Trustees asked Mike to become the next CEO of CMDA, beginning September 1, 2019, when Dr. Stevens steps down. Mike's life verses are from 2 Timothy 1:6-7: "For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you…for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control" (ESV).
LOCAL WPDC BIBLE STUDY GROUPS
We are excited that these groups are a local resource for women involved in WPDC. If you know of any such groups in your area, we would appreciate hearing about them so we can also post them. Please contact the WPDC Administrator.
Where: Walnut Creek location varies - in Lafayette or Alamo (San Francisco Bay area).
When: Once a month (date set at end of each mtg.) Usually last Thursday of the month for lunch.
Contact: Patti Francis, MD
(Atlanta Area): Welcomes physicians, dentists and all female healthcare professionals.
Meets once a month for dinner, fun, fellowship, laughter, encouragement and games. Location varies/usually held on a weekday evening.
Where: Greater Kansas City area, meetings held at Dr. Hickman's home in Gardner, Kansas (southern suburb).
When: Every other month, Sunday afternoon. Call Lynn for address.
Contact: Lynn Hickman
Where: It varies; Grosse Point/St. Clair Shores in suburban Detroit.
When: quarterly / 2nd Wed of Jan/April/July/Oct, 6:45-9p.m. Usually on 2nd Wednesday but subject to change.
Contact: Dr. Regina Frost
GET INVOLVED WITH WPDC
An annual four-day conference for Women Physicians & Dentists in Christ providing opportunities for fellowship, continuing education, networking and spiritual growth & refreshment. The conference offers This conference offers educational opportunities each year. Online registration and the downloadable form are available using the button below.
Grasping Power through Surrender (GPS)
If you are interested in having a GPS retreat in your area, get together two or three interested graduate physician colleagues and let us know by emailing us at email@example.com. WPDC will provide the facilitator, support and advertising to bring together 6-8 female physicians for a Thursday-Sunday GPS retreat. Or if you would like to attend a future retreat in a different area, please email us.
Women Physicians & Dentists in Christ holds events throughout the CMDA National Convention specifically for WPDC members to fellowship and renew their faith.
FRIDAY MORNING – WPDC Breakfast
FRIDAY NIGHT – WPDC Game Night
SATURDAY EVENING AFTER PLENARY – WPDC SOCIAL
All WPDC events are open to any female healthcare professional attending the CMDA National Convention.
Marriage Enrichment Weekends
A weekend conference provided by CMDA's Marriage Commission specifically for WPDC members and their spouses. Save the date for the next WPDC MEW February 23-25, 2024 in Monterrey, California which will offer an opportunity for participants to grow and nurture their marital relationship. Details TBA.
In April 1992, Rev. Marti Ensign became the first director of this outreach, which provided resources directed toward women physicians and dentists, conferences to meet their specific needs and a close-knit network to help them share and grow in Christ. In 1993, members of the (newly formed) WIMD Commission attended the American Medical Women's Association meeting, where many expressed an interest in CMDS. In April 1994, the first CMDS/WIMD national convention was held in Philadelphia.
In 2000, Rev. Marti Ensign retired from the leadership of WIMD and Harriet Askew became the new director. She worked on behalf of the ministry from 2000-2002. Since 2002, WIMD has created a monthly e-newsletter that is sent out to thousands of women. With the e-newsletter, WIMD can reach women all over the world and in return receives many responses including prayer requests, needs and useful suggestions.
In 2002, the Commission members realized their desire to personally minister to the women professionals of CMDA, and therefore, the ministry paradigm was restructured. The WIMD Commission hired its first administrative assistant in the fall of 2002 and its first full-time administrator in January 2014. WIMD now has yearly conferences in different regions of the United States to minister to the growing number of women physicians, dentists and medical and dental students.
In 2021, the name was changed to Women Physicians & Dentists in Christ (WPDC) in order to reflect the heart of the organization, Jesus Christ. The mission of this commission has not changed-the ministry continues to be focused on Christian women physicians, dentists and the students in these professions.